Police said today they are treating the death of Annalise Johnstone, 22, as “suspicious” and have launched a major investigation.
She was found dead and without her mobile phone, wallet and medication on the afternoon of Thursday May 10 – less than 24 hours after she left her home in Ardrossan.
Miss Johnstone travelled from the Ayrshire town to Auchterarder, Perthshire – where it is understood she has family – in a silver Ford Galaxy on Wednesday May 9.
That car was later found damaged in Green Julian Place, Perthshire, at the weekend, around a 25-minute drive from where Miss Johnstone was last seen.
However, officers said the damage was not consistent with the people carrier striking Annalise.
Ms Johnstone, who is a member of the travelling community, was found on the B8062 road that connects Auchterarder to Dunning around two miles from Ruthven Court, Auchterarder, where she was last seen around 10pm on Wednesday night.
Detective Superintendent James Smith, the senior investigating officer in the case, said the cause of her death could still not be explained.
He said: “She clearly has injuries that I can’t go in to detail about – there’s been a lot of interpretation and expert opinion required.”
Asked if someone else was involved in her death he said: “That’s an answer we are trying to get to.
“We are covering every eventuality - third party involvement is being considered.”
He added: “I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Annalise at this time.
“Our enquiries are continuing to establish the full circumstances surrounding this death and I would like to appeal to anyone who may have any information to come forward.”